News on Chicago’s Home whitewater run

From the New’s Tribune:

High water has delayed work on a lowhead dam on the Vermilion River at Oglesby in a project designed to open the river back up to rafters, kayakers and canoeists.
Project startup now depends on Mother Nature, said Chris McCloud, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
“The state has had a lot of rain this spring and early summer. It’s a waiting game at this point,” he said this week.
Work was expected to begin the second week of May and finish by the end of June.
The river was at 12.1 feet Wednesday at Leonore. It has been up and down since April 19 and hit flood stage twice. The river generally runs high until midsummer, when its flow drops to 3 to 4 feet.
The river at the dam has been closed since July 2, 2009, a decision of the dam’s owner, cement-maker Buzzi Unicem USA, after five people were injured and one person died in rafting accidents in the preceding two weeks.
The project will fill a deep hole with 350 cement blocks below the dam, eliminating dangerous current that can pull boats and people underwater. Signs will be placed to alert boaters about the dam.
The state awarded the work to Midwest Foundation Corp. of Tremont.

The Vermilion River races over the low-head dam in the river near Oglesby Buzzi Unicem cement plant while an Illinois Department of Natural Resources crane (right) sits idle. A long-term lease agreement was struck between the IDNR and Buzzi last year which will allow the IDNR to reopen the Vermilion to rafting and water-goers. The plan for building a cement wall to protect river goers from the low-head dam has been stalled because of high water due to heavy rainfall this spring.

The Vermilion River races over the low-head dam in the river near Oglesby Buzzi Unicem cement plant while an Illinois Department of Natural Resources crane (right) sits idle. A long-term lease agreement was struck between the IDNR and Buzzi last year which will allow the IDNR to reopen the Vermilion to rafting and water-goers. The plan for building a cement wall to protect river goers from the low-head dam has been stalled because of high water due to heavy rainfall this spring.

 

Saturday, June 25, 2011
By Jeff Dankert
perureporter@newstrib.com

http://www.newstrib.com/articles/news/local/default.asp?article=28283&aname=High+river+level+delays+work+on+Vermilion+dam

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